Systematic review of group-based creative arts interventions in support of informal care-givers of adults: a narrative synthesis

Bec Watt, Susan Witt, Marco Susino, Helena Anolak, Richard Van Wegen, Denise Grocke, Susan Gordon

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Informal care-givers play an important role, with health-care systems relying on the billions of hours of care they provide. Care-givers experience high levels of psychological distress and isolation; however, the efficacy of what support is the best for care-givers is unclear. The primary aim of this systematic review is to determine the effect of group creative arts interventions on informal care-givers of adults. The secondary aim is to understand the impact of group type, the primary outcomes and how they are measured. Given the heterogeneous nature of the included studies, a narrative synthesis approach was taken. Database searches identified 2,587 studies, 25 of which met the full inclusion criteria. Studies included group creative arts interventions for either care-givers only (N = 8) or for care-giver/cared-for dyads (N = 17). The majority of the participants in the studies were older Caucasian females. Group creative arts interventions are beneficial for care-givers and for the person being cared for; however, benefits differ depending on whether the group is for care-givers only or for care-giver/cared-for dyads. Future research will benefit from care-givers being involved in the design of the creative arts intervention to provide input regarding group type and relevant outcome measures. Future research should consider targeting their intervention to care-givers with a low baseline score to increase the ability of the study to demonstrate a significant difference.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages34
JournalAgeing and Society
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2022


  • care-givers
  • Creative arts
  • Creative arts research
  • wellbeing
  • outcome measures
  • older adults


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